Death row prisoner survived his own execution after 18 attempts to kill him

Not many people can claim to have survived the death penalty, and only one man had the dubious honour of living through 18 attempts to execute him.

Romell Broom spent 24 years on Ohio's death row after being convicted of kidnapping, raping and murdering Tryna Middleton, a 14-year-old girl, as she walked home in 1984.

He maintained his innocence and had a DNA test done in 2003 in an attempt to clear his name, but the results failed to exonerate him.

Broom's date of execution via lethal injection was finally scheduled for September 15, 2009.

He was strapped to a table and an execution team began looking for a suitable vein into which they could inject the deadly mix of pancuronium bromide, potassium chloride and midazolam that would end the inmate's life.

But that's where the trouble began. Try as they might, the executioners simply could not locate an appropriate vein for the IV.

After the first few unsuccessful attempts, Broom tried to help by turning onto his side, sliding rubber tubing up his left arm, and moving his arm up and down while flexing and opening his fingers.

The team kept sticking him with needles until they managed to access a vein — but when they attempted to inject saline, the vein collapsed.

By this point Broom could take no more of the physical and mental torment and began sobbing.

Then they tried a different strategy, having Broom sit upright on the table while the execution team tried to insert shunts into his legs, causing him even more pain.

At one point they managed to strike bone instead of a vein.

Two hours after they began the procedure, the execution was halted as the team gave up in frustration. By this point they had pierced Broom's skin with a needle 18 different times.

Eventually the Governor of Ohio issued a one-week reprieve after Broom's lawyers argued the first execution attempt constituted cruel and unusual punishment.

Officials were given until September 22 to figure out a way to kill Broom in a way that wouldn't amount to torture in violation of the US Constitution.

They were unable to do so and the execution was postponed indefinitely.

Over the next several years Amnesty International campaigned to spare Broom's life, a documentary was made about the botched execution and Broom even wrote a book entitled Survivor on Death Row.

Eventually Broom challenged the state's authority to attempt to execute him a second time, arguing it would violate the constitutional prohibition against twice placing a person in jeopardy of life.

But on March 16 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled against him and authorised the state to try and execute him again.

Justice Judith Lanzinger said the botched attempt did not constitute a failed execution because setting the IV line was only a "preliminary step" to an execution, and the execution itself "commences when the lethal drug enters the IV line."

"Because the attempt did not proceed to the point of injection of a lethal drug into the IV line, jeopardy never attached," she said.

Get latest news headlines delivered free

Want all the latest shocking news and views from all over the world straight into your inbox?

We've got the best royal scoops, crime dramas and breaking stories – all delivered in that Daily Star style you love.

Our great newsletters will give you all you need to know, from hard news to that bit of glamour you need every day. They'll drop straight into your inbox and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.

You can sign up here – you won't regret it…

Justice Lanzinger added: "We simply are unable to conclude that Broom has established that the state in carrying out a second attempt is likely to violate its protocol and cause severe pain."

Broom's second execution was initially scheduled for June 17, 2020, but Governor Mike DeWine issued a reprieve last April citing a lack of execution drug availability.

The procedure was then rescheduled for March 16, 2022.

But by this point the USA was fully in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic. Covid-19 swept through the nation's prisons due to the cramped conditions and often poor hygiene.

Those on death row were not shielded from the virus and Broom died on December 28, 2020. He was 64.

Corrections authorities placed him on their "Covid probable list" of prisoners suspected to have died of the disease.

At least 17 death row prisoners in four states have died of Covid, including Ohio's oldest condemned prisoner James Frazier who died in November at the age of 79.

Source: Read Full Article